Acclaimed Thai-influenced Corktown restaurant Katoi is showing some signs that a resurrection may not be too far out. The restaurant announced today on social media that it’s beginning to hire staff including bartenders, bar backs, and bar preps.
Katoi has been in semi-hibernation since February 17, when a suspicious early morning fire gutted the restaurant. The eatery’s original architect Ishtiaq Rafiuddin has been working with partners chef Brad Greenhill, Courtney Henriette, and Philip Kafka on the redesign of the cinderblock building on Michigan Avenue. Details of that process have been mostly kept under wraps.
In the wake of the blaze, people across metro Detroit’s restaurant industry showed support for the owners and their employees by hosting fundraisers and offering staff jobs during the closure. In the meantime, Katoi’s team returned to pop-up status. The restaurant helped christen Hazel Park’s chef residency establishment, Frame, in late-March and has also made appearances at Grey Ghost, MOCAD, Mabel Gray, and beyond.
Katoi was a crowd-pleasing food truck long before it became an established brick-and-mortar restaurant, but its distinctive interior and food helped rocket it onto the national stage. It was named Eater Detroit’s Restaurant of the Year in 2016 and was named a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant award just two days before the fire.
Eater has reached out for more details regarding a possible reopening timeline. Stay tuned for updates.
Update, 7/28, 11:35 a.m.: Katoi is aiming to reopen by the end of the summer, co-owner Courtney Henriette tells the Detroit News.